Companies will look across their real estate portfolios to rethink their office spaces, invest in new technology and prioritize sustainability, as hybrid work becomes more entrenched in corporate culture, according to new research from real estate consultant JLL.
The Future of Work report reveals the trend towards dynamic working continues, with 56 percent of organizations in Asia Pacific saying that they will likely make remote working available to all employees by 2025 and corporate real estate executives saying that successfully operating hybrid work will be the most important strategic priority over the next three years.
This includes exploring flexible space options, with the average proportion of flexible spaces in Asia Pacific expected to grow between now and 2025.
“We see that organizations will accelerate strategic investments over the next three years to realize their long-term workforce and workplace priorities, and the remaining four months of 2022 will be a critical phase for CRE strategy,” said JLL Philippines country head Joey Radovan.
JLL’s research shows the shift to hybrid work has become a marker of change in the workplace, placing greater emphasis on how companies can support employee mental well-being and maintain productivity.
The findings show that 80 percent of organizations in Asia Pacific agree that quality space is a top priority as high-quality spaces are best suited to facilitate the kind of workplaces, health and wellbeing amenities and sustainability credentials employees and corporates increasingly need.
With buildings accounting for over 60 percent of carbon emissions in cities, organizations face ever increasing pressure to deliver clear outcomes in the race to net zero and create social value through real estate.
The report notes that sustainability strategies may have a direct impact on real estate decisions, with 71 percent saying they are likely to pay a premium for green building credentials in the future.
In terms of sustainability practices, the Philippines’ awareness has gone up by leaps and bounds, and the latest research identified five critical areas that organizations will need to consider for a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future of work.
It shows that hybrid working is here to stay. In the near term, investing in quality space will be a greater priority than expanding total footprint. Environmental and social aspirations will also shape future portfolio transformation.
CRE functions need to double down on intelligent technology investments, and real estate needs are becoming more sophisticated and complex.
Stakeholder aspirations are not solely environmental. With diversity, inclusion and wellbeing now sitting high on the corporate agenda, companies are underpinning these objectives with further investment and resources.
Eight in 10 respondents agree that their organizations are acting today to make the workplace more inclusive and diverse for all employees.
While the workforce recovers its momentum and employees return to the office, flexible working spaces and environmental ambitions will increasingly become the cornerstones of a hybrid workplace.
Alongside an increasingly hybrid world of work, total headcount and real estate footprint is also expected to grow. The focus for companies will be on investments in quality spaces to ensure the long- term success of hybrid work.
“As the office continues to evolve post-pandemic into a destination for collaboration, occupiers will need to continue increasing their investments in creative spaces,” said head of Work Dynamics Research in Asia Pacific James Taylor.
“Real estate portfolio strategies to enhance social interaction among a geographically dispersed workforce will be more important than ever, and the focus is on organizations to create offices with less me-space and more we-space,” he said.